January 29, 2023

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Servais calls for change in wake of tragedy

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SEATTLE — Mariners manager Scott Servais spoke passionately on Saturday in the wake of the mass shooting in Uvalde, Texas, where 19 children and two adults were killed Tuesday when an 18-year-old gunman opened fire at an elementary school.

“I do know what’s going on in our country is not good,” Servais said. “It’s very serious, and there does need to be some reform and some things looked at in regard to gun control. When you look up at the end of the day, and there’s 21 people getting shot at school, a week or 10 days after the supermarket incident in Buffalo, I think it’s time for a country to do something.”

Servais went on to appreciate the Mariners’ efforts of holding an extended moment of silence in memoriam ahead of Friday’s game against the Astros. But he, like many other prominent leaders in sports — such as Giants manager Gabe Kapler — wants to turn the attention to change.

“You want to be respectful, and I get the moment of silence, but the moment of silence is very empty,” Servais said. “It’s time for people around the country and legislators to do something about it. So that’s what Scott Servais thinks. I certainly respect what others think, but it’s time.”

Specifically, Servais expressed frustration from the country’s political leaders to curb gun violence and prevent another mass shooting.

“Hopefully we’re at a turning point in our country,” Servais said. “I don’t know. I do know that people that sit in the seats that make change need to step back and look at what’s going on. And if they don’t make change, and I’ve often said, everybody has a voice. You have a vote. You vote for the people who are supposed to represent you and do the right thing. Those people need to do the right thing or they don’t need to sit in those seats anymore. That’s how I feel.”

Servais spoke out poignantly and passionately at various points in each of the past two seasons, as heightened social and political issues have been at the forefront since the beginning of the pandemic.

In 2020, he regularly wore T-shirts in his daily media sessions reading “Vote” and “Black Lives Matter.” Midway through that season, the Mariners voted unanimously not to play a game in San Diego in the wake of Jacob Blake being shot in Kenosha, Wis., and Servais fervently supported the players’ decision and called it a “historic day” and a “day of action.”

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